My book Aftershocks: Great Powers and Domestic Reforms in the Twentieth Century (2017) is available from Princeton University Press. It's part of their International History and Politics series. ($25 paperback, $95 hardcover)

Over the past century, democracy spread around the world in turbulent bursts of reform that swept across national borders. Aftershocks offers a new global- oriented explanation for these cascades – not only of democracy but also of its twentieth-century rivals, fascism and communism. 

I argue that abrupt "hegemonic shocks" episodes of sudden rise and fall of powerful states create powerful and often-overlooked incentives for sweeping waves of domestic transformations. The hidden links between shocks and waves have key implications for how we think about democratization, modern state formation, and the global order.

Named one of "Best Books of 2017" by Foreign Affairs. A Washington Post reading recommendation.

Chapter 1 is available HERE. Article-length version (with a quantitative component) is HERE. (International Organization, 2014). Page 99 test. [PR Flyer]

Foreign Affairs
The Washington Post
Peace Magazine
Ny Tid [Norway]
International Affairs

"This landmark study...illuminates the deep connections between global shifts in power and waves of domestic regime change. ...No book has made a stronger case that the fate of democracy is tied to the rise and fall of great powers and the leadership of liberal hegemonic states." -- G. John Ikenberry, Foreign Affairs

"Aftershocks is an important, well-argued and well-written contribution to the literature on the international dimension of change in political regimes." -- Nicholas Bouchet, International Affairs

"Highly recommended...The conclusion is especially strong and provocative, speculating that though democracy has advantages that prevent crises from becoming so severe they threaten stability, autocratic capitalism may be a viable alternative if democracy fails to provide security and prosperity for its people."-- Choice

From the Back Cover

“Ambitious and lucid, Aftershocks offers an alternative way to view twentieth-century global history…[V]itally important and impossible to ignore.” 
– John M. Owen IV, University of Virginia

“Gunitsky’s book is essential reading with significant practical implications.”    
– Susan D. Hyde, University of California, Berkeley

Aftershocks makes a strong and creative theoretical argument while providing a wide variety of convincing evidence. This is a really great book.”                   
– Jon Pevehouse, University of Wisconsin-Madison



Work in Progress




Past Publications